909 Til Infinity
Drop The Mic

The musical union of L.A. based MANIK & Denver’s option4, otherwise known as 909 Til Infinity, has been like a breath of fresh air sweeping through house music’s underground. In late 2015 we had the pleasure of breaking the ascending duo’s first ever recorded interview, and after two more stellar EP’s, The Bee/Dee EP and Don’t Clock Me Out, the always diligent duo have stopped back by our hallowed pages armed with yet another piece of booty-shaking house music in the form of “Drop The Mic”. We had a chance to sit down with the pair a few days before the official release of their latest EP on the Treasure Fingers fronted Psycho Disco Records. Read our entire conversation below.

The Music Ninja: We last featured your collective talents back in February on the heels of your Don’t Clock Me Out EP on Psycho Disco Records. Thus far you guys have really been one of the premiere acts in taking that label into more of a national tastemaking spotlight. Do you both consider Psycho Disco to be a permanent home of sorts for 909 or are their plans to release on other labels down the line as well?

Chris: Yes. Psycho Disco has become our family for the 909 project and we couldn’t be happier. Ashley aka Treasure Fingers aka The King Of The ATL is like a big brother and always has our back. We always keep an open mind to our music, and do like a lot of different stuff, so some music may actually not fit the label, but a lot of our music will totally be busting through the scene with that Psycho Disco logo!

Brennen: I mean we might do some stuff with other partners depending on how the songs come out after we make em.. but family is family. Ashley has been so awesome to work with and I don’t know if anyone gets us more visually. His vision for the artwork is always SO on point. It’s just a perfect match.


TMN: You’ve got the Drop The Mic EP all finished up (stream its title track above), and wow, did it blow us away upon first listen. How do you guys feel about this one, and how would you describe the vibe?

Chris: We are real happy with it. I remember making the hook to “Drop The Mic” with B in the studio in LA, and we both just went hell yeah. I know we both love the tracks and they are made specifically for the club no doubt. I would describe the vibe as “back breaking bananas.”

Brennen: It’s just a banger. Straight up. When that beat hits it’s just.. ridiculous haha. I love the groove, and the drum work, and the fun little vocal stabs are as hilarious as they are fierce.

TMN: Have you both had a chance to physically get back in the studio together or do you mostly bounce ideas off of each other via e-mail etc.?

Chris: Yeah back in March when I was in Denver, we were able to get one tune done. We have another one or two ideas as well which we are hoping to get together physically for, but its getting a little more difficult timing wise. All I know is we work well together and that is a rare thing- whether its actually in a studio or just bouncing off ideas on a laptop.

Brennen: The ever growing challenge. Fortunately we’re both playing out enough that it allows us to get together when we’re in each others states. If the project picks up any more steam though I’m afraid we might have to sacrifice a bit and work online. Although i hate the idea of that. It’s always 10x more fun working directly in the studio together.

TMN: Thus far, 909 Til Infinity has received support from the likes of Claude VonStroke, Anna Lunoe, Chris Lake, and Shiba San. That’s a pretty notable list for a relatively new project. How has the response been in your experience towards what you guys are doing as a duo?

Chris: People really dig it. I know many people have hit me up about it personally, just to say something. I’ve been releasing music since 2009, and Its always a humbling experience to know a handful of DJs are into it let alone some big name ones too. I am just grateful for all support on all levels.

Brennen: Haha.. that is awesome and crazy all at the same time. I went into a club to see Dusky playing a couple months ago and I was like.. why is this song so familiar.. then I was like.. “OH WAIT. THAT’S OUR SONG!” haha.. went up and hugged those giants out of pure gratitude. Basically in all respects, it’s lovely to have the support of your idols/peers. So long story short I feel like Chris feels the exact same gratitude.

TMN: You guys have played a few surprise shows together under the 909 Til Infinity banner. Have there been any plans of a mini-tour taking place or are you both still mostly performing under your solo monikers?
Chris: Yeah we are definitely talking about it but want to focus on the music for a bit. I am sure it will happen eventually though! Either way it will be fun to tour with a close friend like Brennen. I’ve been on the road mostly alone for about 5 years now, and there is nothing as fun as touring with a friend and playing a bunch of gigs together! He just better not shred a fart in the booth mid mix..
Brennen: It all depends on our individual touring schedules but… we’re hoping after a few more records this year that we could do a small curated 3 city tour or something early 2017. The goal of this project is just a release for the two of us to make club bangers. So at the moment that’s the focus.

TMN: How does playing and curating a set as 909 differ from how you typically perform as MANIK & option4? Have there been any high or lowlights from the few shows you guys have played together?

Chris: To be honest, one of the many things I enjoy about DJ’ing with Brennen is that we have similar music tastes, but also pretty different simultaneously. Its like the best of both worlds and it totally works. For a solo gig, I really enjoy going out and crate digging and attempting to find hidden records- Classic 90’s or late 80’s, underappreciated House tunes, slept on stuff from the northeast, Chicago Acid, whatever I think fits my vibes of classic and modern- which has been my MANIK sound for years. When I DJ solo I like to play a range of this stuff mixed with other edits or special versions of tunes I have. 909 stuff isnt too different in terms of preparation because I basically bring my half of the music to a gig and B always says its fire. Likewise for him, almost every track he plays when we DJ as 909, I will turn to him and ask what is this fire? So it really works well. We basically both just show up with what we think is fire and go b2b. I like his shit and he likes mine. Its the most fun.

Brennen: Haha.. I mean, we’ve never done an official 909 show yet. We’ve done some surprise b2b’s when we were playing in the same city or something but we’ve never had an official show. DJ’ing together however has been a blast. That being said I feel like our styles compliment one another pretty well. I’m a big fan of Chris. Like. Actual FAN. I’d been playing MANIK records before we ever met, so it’s an honor I don’t take for granted when we play. I think there’s this slight competition that happens naturally in a duo where you’re always trying to save your best stuff for last in this constant one-upping battle haha.. Regardless I wouldn’t have it any other way. The official 909 shows will happen soon enough and when they do people can rest assured that it’ll be hot

TMN: Great stuff. Okay time for the lightning round! Just simple answers from here on out. You’re both known as pretty excellent programmers and cratediggers. Are there any producers or labels right now that you think are still pushing dance music forward or that you feel deserve a little bit of a spotlight?

Chris: For me Ovum always brings out true classic stuff that I enjoy a lot. As for newer labels, I am really into the deep crunchy flavors of Church Records from the UK. Lot of their Jazzy stuff I am definitely into.

Brennen: Well.. i mean.. it’s not underground per se but a label I always get blown away by is TEXT. My music sounds nothing like Four Tet or KHLHI etc but it’s something I’m always inspired by. Staying inspired is half the battle. Also for artists that I think are next times a million.. I think we’re finally entering the age of Leon Vynehall and Fritz Wentink. Those guys are on fire right now to me. Unstoppable.

TMN: You both travel pretty frequently to play shows all over the country. Are there any clubs or cities that have surprised you with the strength of their underground dance scene?

Chris: For US cities, Houston crushes for me. Every time I go down there to play the Kinda Super Disco party I get hyped! Them boys and also the boys out in Dallas at It’ll Do, Scottie, they really push the scene forward and its always a place where you can play whatever you want and the dancefloor responds big time! Two of my US favorites 100%.
Brennen: I just got off a small tour this Summer and hit some AWESOME clubs and cities. The problem was there wasn’t really any surprises. All the shows were amazing and so were the crowds. I will say though- I had no idea how hard San Francisco goes. Was NOT expecting that. Played Audio a couple weeks ago and the place was steaming with sweat. Going back in 2 weeks to play a club called Verso so I’m super excited.
TMN: Sorry to get political, but we must at least for one question… If Hilary Clinton & Donald Trump were Pokemon, what would they be, and how hard would they be to catch in Pokemon Go?
Chris: I’ll let B answer this. I dont do Pokemon have no idea about it.
Brennen: Dunno too much about it but I will say this. No one wants to catch either of them.

TMN: And finally, do you have a favorite House or Dance record of all time?

Chris: I could write a separate article about this- and it’s honestly too tough to pick just one as I have about 12-15 really strong contenders haha. I will say one of my favorite tunes of all time was straight out of Detroit and called “Hard Life” by UR-  I have it on vinyl, been playing it for years, and its epic true deep house.
Brennen: Oh man, I was drinking the other night and gave this some honest thought. Obviously there’s WAY too many records that fight for this position but, if a gun was held to my head… It’d be Flowers by Armand Van Heldon. Tune just makes me wanna get married and move away to live on an island or something. Such a CHUNE.
Thank you guys so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to chat with us again, it’s always a pleasure! For fans of MANIK & option4, be on the lookout for tons of stuff from their respective solo projects, including an entry from MANIK into VIVa MUSiC’s forthcoming Tenth Anniversary compilation in mid-October, and his latest mix for the almighty Discogs.  For our option4 faithful, the genre-eschewing prodcer’s first full length will be coming down the pipe via Sweat It Out!, with its first single dropping later this month. Thanks again gentlemen, and we can’t wait to see what else comes from 909 Til Infinity to round out 2016!
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